If you own an iPhone you should be careful about the name you give to your Wi-Fi network. This is because researchers have discovered an array of characters that if used as the name for your Wi-Fi network could stop your iPhone from connecting to the Internet.
The newly found bug can quickly break your home Wi-Fi network by permanently deactivating it. Unfortunately, rebooting the device will not fix it. The bug was initially revealed by a reverse engineer who was having issues when joining the personal Wi-Fi hotspot by the name %p%s%s%s%s%n on an iPhone running on iOS 14.4.
Carl tried fixing the issue by rebooting the iPhone and changing the name of the Wi-Fi network, but nothing seemed to help.
Carl tweeted that after he joined his home Wi-Fi, named
%p%s%s%s%s%n, his iPhones Wi-Fi functionality was completely disabled and neither changing the networks name or rebooting the iPhone could solve the issue.
Theoretically, the bug can be security since it can allow hackers and other cybercriminals to plant the Wi-Fi hotspots in order to allow some iPhones users to access the networks with no password, temporarily accessing their devices. Because the bug can’t be duplicated on android devices, it seems isolated to iOS. Security experts have said that the cause of this problem could be the input parsing issue, which means the ‘%’ character might be the one confusing the Apple iOS operating system with programming variables and commands.
Jack Moore, an ESET cybersecurity expert says that while iOS is highly intelligent, ‘%’ character can confuse an OS.
Although this bug is not permanent, some cybercriminals might try to exploit iPhone users that click on it as they try to take advantage of the security breach.
How To Fix The Issue
Fixing the issue is pretty simple – all you have to do is reset the network settings. Head to the settings section > general and click on Reset, then choose Reset Network Settings.
The most important thing is to avoid connecting to random Wi-Fi networks if you don’t know their name.
Brown, A. (2021, June 24). This one word can break ANY iPhone and stop it connecting to the internet. Express.co.uk. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/1452961/iPhone-Break-Internet-Wi-Fi-Name-p-s-s-s-s-n-How-To-Fix
‘Why does my Wi-Fi keep disconnecting on my iPhone?’: How to fix your iPhone’s faulty Wi-Fi connection. (2019, December 27). BI Africa. https://africa.businessinsider.com/tech/why-does-my-wi-fi-keep-disconnecting-on-my-iphone-how-to-fix-your-iphones-faulty-wi/tqs6c9y
Casserly, M. (n.d.). How to stop iPhone dropping Wi-Fi connection. Macworld UK. https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/phone-dropping-wi-fi-3794617/